Prophet-Founder of the Baha'i Faith

Over one hundred years ago the founder of a new world religion urgently warned the world that its moral and social order were decaying quickly. As a cure for growing chaos, He offered the vision of a united human race and told us what we must do to make the vision a reality. Since then His warnings have been fulfilled, and His vision is bringing hope to at least five million followers around the world.

His Name is Bahá'u'lláh

In the middle of the nineteenth century, Bahá'u'lláh (meaning "The Glory of God) claimed to be God's messenger to the age of human maturity, the Divine Teacher Who fulfills the promises of other religions. He claimed to be the bearer of a revelation from God that addresses humanity's present-day needs, a revelation that will unite the peoples of the world. Anyone who is concerned about the future of our planet or believes that the solution to the world's problems is basically spiritual should investigate the powerful effects that Bahá'u'lláh's life and writings have already had on the world. For the first time in history, humanity has a historic record of the birth of an independent religion and of the life of its Founder. The new religion's growth is also recorded and can be seen in the rise of an unusually diverse, worldwide community of followers.

His Mission

Bahá'u'lláh explained that the Founders of the major religions are all part of a single process by which God reveals His will for humanity. Every Founder has restated many eternal spiritual truths such as treating others as we wish to be treated. But each Founder has also brought specific social teachings that are suited to the needs of the time in which He appears. The teachings of the Messengers of God have always been the cause of human progress and the advancement of civilization. The spirit of their word and the example of their lives have a transforming and unifying effect on the minds and souls of humanity. As the Messengers of God redefine what is right and wrong, new codes of civil law and behavior are born, new institutions that express new morals come into existence, and a new culture evolves into a new world order. This process has occurred throughout history. It can be seen in the series of stages that has taken humanity from unity of the family, the tribe, the city-state, and the nation to the threshold of world unity. Bahá'u'lláh's mission is to bring about the oneness of humanity. He has built on the work of other Messengers of God to bring the teachings and initiate the movement that will unite the entire human race.

His Life

Bahá'u'lláh was born in Persia (now Iran) in 1817 to a family descended from royalty. As a young man, He chose to give up the life of luxury, and the government career that could have been His, to care for the poor. Bahá'u'lláh lived in a time of Messianic expectation in many lands. Christians awaited the return of Christ. Muslims expected the fulfillment of Islamic prophecies. Other religions had similar expectations. In 1863 Bahá'u'lláh declared that He was the One promised by all religions and that God had entrusted Him with a revelation addressing humanity's present-day needs. The response to Bahá'u'lláh's announcement during His lifetime was dramatic. Thousands arose to support His cause. Others, particularly the Muslim clergy and the Persian government, arose to suppress it. His followers were persecuted, and many were killed. Bahá'u'lláh Himself was banished from Persia to Iraq. This was the beginning of forty years of exile, imprisonment, suffering, and bitter persecution that climaxed with His banishment to the Turkish prison city of Akka in the Holy Land. During His years in exile Bahá'u'lláh proclaimed His mission to the leaders and peoples of the world in writings containing His teachings for humanity.

His Teachings

In His many writings Bahá'u'lláh addresses the great questions that religious thinkers have struggled to answer throughout the ages: What is the nature of God? What is His relationship to humanity? What is the role of divine revelation in history? What is the relationship between the world's many religions? What is Faith? What is the purpose of life? Bahá'u'lláh also addresses specific problems that we face today, such as the equality of women and men; the security and progress of the family; the elimination of poverty, prejudice, war, and nationalism; and the establishment of social justice. In over one hundred volumes Bahá'u'lláh speaks to the spiritual and material needs of the individual and society.

- "The All-Knowing Physician hath His finger on the pulse of mankind. He perceiveth the disease, and prescribeth, in His unerring wisdom, the remedy... The remedy the world needeth in its present-day afflictions can never be the same as that which a subsequent age may require."

- "Do not busy yourselves in your own concerns; let your thoughts be fixed upon that which will rehabilitate the fortunes of mankind and sanctify the hearts and souls of men. This can best be achieved through pure and holy deeds, through a virtuous life and goodly behavior."

- "The utterance of God is a lamp, whose light is these words: Ye are the fruits of one tree, and the leaves of one branch... So powerful is the light of unity that it can illuminate the whole earth... Exert yourselves that ye may attain this transcendent and most sublime station, the station that can ensure the protection and security of all mankind."

- "Immerse yourselves in the Ocean of My words, that ye may unravel its secrets, and discover all the pearls of wisdom that lie hid in its depths...This is the changeless Faith of God, eternal in the past, eternal in the future. Let him that seeketh, attain it; and as to him that hath refused to seek it - verily, God is Self-Sufficient, above any need of His creatures."

His Covenant With Humanity

The coming of Bahá'u'lláh has ushered the world into a new age and created a new relationship between God and humanity. Bahá'u'lláh calls this relationship a "new covenant". God has promised never to leave us without His loving guidance. Bahá'u'lláh is the fulfillment of that promise. In return for this gift, we are asked to recognize and accept His teachings. As the peoples of the world recognize and embrace Bahá'u'lláh and His teachings, they are receiving divine blessings and assistance that can only come from God. We are promised that, as we struggle to fulfill our obligations to the new covenant, we will find relief from the confusion, chaos, and ruin of society, and the hatreds and violence of our time will be replaced by world brotherhood and peace. The Bahá'í community demonstrates the power of Bahá'u'lláh's Covenant to heal the ills that divide the human race. This community is still in its infancy and gives only a glimpse of the far-reaching effect Bahá'u'lláh's teachings eventually will have on humanity. Yet it has already unified many diverse elements of the human family. In a little over one hundred years the Bahá'í Faith has spread to every nation and includes people of every race, religious background, culture, and class. The life of Bahá'u'lláh, the many volumes of His writings, and the example of the growing worldwide Bahá'í community support His claim to be the Messenger of God for the coming of age of the human race. You are invited to investigate the implications of the new Covenant between God and humanity.

- "Every man of insight will, in this day, readily admit that the counsels which the Pen of this wronged One hath revealed constitute the supreme animating power for the advancement of the world and the exaltation of its peoples." ...Bahá'u'lláh

(c)Copyright 1994 by the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís of the United States. All rights reserved.

Link to his writings